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Impact statement released after two men were sentenced to over 10 years in prison after burglary in

The victim of a burglary in Freshfield has spoken of the impact of the incident and his gratitude for the support offered by police. Operation Castle, a Merseyside Police operation to combat burglary, has helped ensure there were 700 less burglaries of homes in eight months this year compared with the same period last year. There have also been 70 more detections where offenders have been identified, including the burglary Ian Parnell and his family fell victim to in June. On 5 June, Mr Parnell arrived home to find they had been broken into, and items stolen including a Rolex watch given by Ian's father to his mother on their wedding day. Two men, Dale Kelly and Lewis Callaghan, were spotted acting suspiciously at another address in Freshfield a short time later by a member of the public and officers, assisted by the Dog Section, were deployed to detain them and the stolen items were recovered. The men were sentenced in August to a total of 10 years and eight months in prison as part of Operation Castle, the force's ongoing response to burglary offences across Merseyside. • 24-year-old Dale Kelly of no fixed abode was sentenced to six years in prison for two counts of burglary • 21-year-old Lewis Callaghan of no fixed abode was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for two counts of burglary A further six offences were taken into consideration meaning eight offences were solved following their arrest. The homeowner Ian Parnell said: "We arrived home and I realised something was wrong because the side entrance to the house was open. I was shocked at the disruption they’d caused whilst in the house.” "The main thing I realised was that the entry point, doors at the back of the property, were completely destroyed. There was glass everywhere and there was evidence they had ransacked every room of the property, and gone through every drawer and every item of our valuables here.” "In particular, a watch that had huge emotional value to me personally was a 72-year-old Rolex watch that was my late father’s. The Rolex was an item that he handed to me in his last three hours of being with us here in this world and it was an item that he and I had played with since I was a little boy. To realise that they had actually taken it left me utterly destroyed.” "The police officers who came to see us were nothing but supportive.” Mr Parnell was determined to attend court to make sure the judge heard the impact the burglar had on his family. He added: "I wanted the criminals to hear what it’s like to walk into a home where you have love and affection and you’ve seen your family off to school and work, and to return to it in total destruction.” "I felt I needed to have an impact and a say in what that actually felt like.” "I needed to make sure that I could have my words taken into account, and that was taken into consideration when the judge was summing up." Andy McCourt: "Operation Castle was launched in March this year, with a focus on burglary across the force, aimed at reducing the number of offences, raising community confidence, reassuring residents and victims and reducing the number of outstanding named suspects for burglary.” "Since the start of Operation Castle, there have been approximately 700 less burglaries of dwellings recorded in Merseyside, which equates to 700 less victims.” "We recognise the effect this type of crime can have on individuals and businesses, so to have such successes is extremely gratifying.” "We regularly review burglary offences to identify hotspots and target activity and resources accordingly, and our detection rate has gone up. We are now solving more crimes – we've detected somewhere in the region of 260 crimes which is an improvement of around 70 from this time last year.” "As well as patrolling key areas, our officers will continue to work to ensure homes and businesses have adequate security in place, offering support and security advice." Further information on policing in your area can be found at /local-policing/ or on the local policing Twitter and Facebook pages. You can also follow the hashtags #OpCastle and #BeatTheBurglar for regular updates.

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